Christa Nardi is an accomplished author of cozy mysteries. Christa’s background is in higher education and psychology, much as her protagonist, Sheridan Hendley in the Cold Creek mystery series. She has always loved mysteries – reading them, writing them, and solving them. Christa is a member of Sisters in Crime.
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Sometimes you need to be careful what you wish for.
Pretty much settled into her new home in Appomattox with Brett and his daughter, Sheridan longs for something to keep her busy. That is, until Maddie and her new friend are framed for theft and murder. Not quite the distraction she had hoped for, but she’ll turn over every rock to prove their innocence. In the process, she learns about the powerful Buchanan family and the history of the local community. Will the truth come out before the person calling the shots takes Sheridan and Maddie out of the picture?
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An abandoned house, an abundance of dogs. And a dead body or two.
Sheridan Hendley’s volunteer position at Pets and Paws takes a new turn when more than twenty malnourished dogs are found at a rundown house on the outskirts of town. When the body of an elderly woman is found amidst mountains of clutter in the house, a search of the property leads to startling revelations. And another body. While Herman Stoneham’s death is deemed natural causes, his wife’s is not. Where did all the dogs come from and who’s responsible for Justine’s untimely death? Are the two connected? With dogs and murder at stake, Sheridan can’t help but get involved in the investigation.
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A touch of nostalgia, a murder, and good friends.
When a former colleague is implicated in his neighbor’s demise, Sheridan Hendley returns to Cold Creek to prove his innocence. Annoying as Max can be, she can’t imagine the quirky professor is capable of murder. Unfortunately, not everyone shares her opinion. Of course, it doesn’t help that Max threatened his neighbor in a public place soon before the man was murdered. Or that the victim’s drug shipments had a habit of turning up on Max’s doorstep.
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An Interview with Christa Nardi, Author
Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself, your background?
I grew up in a suburb in New England and lived in that general area for most of my life. I’m part of the baby boomer generation, coming of age at the time of the Viet Nam war and similar politically volatile occurrences. I attended public school K-12 and a state university for my undergraduate education, and pursued a career as a Psychologist.
What is something interesting many people may not know about you?
That’s a hard one. My education was punctuated by many different jobs and experiences. At one point, I worked for the state civil preparedness and worked with FEMA in response to a disaster, I volunteered with the American Red Cross to teach basic first aid, and for several years worked on volunteer ambulance. I’ve worked in public schools and in two university settings.
What do you do to unwind and relax?
Listening to music, reading, watching old movies, chatting with friends, cuddling with my dogs, working in the garden, and taking walks. With COVID-19, I’ve been binge reading a lot. Books have always been an easy escape from stressors for me.
As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
I love dogs, so it would have to be a dog. When I looked it up, the words and themes associated with a dog spirit animal include adventure, excitement, curiosity, re-evaluating interactions with people, and loyalty. At some level, the relationships are just as important as the plot.
Are your characters based on real people?
Yes and no. Characters are composites of multiple people with similar personalities and then exaggerated, like a caricature. Regardless of where I’ve worked, there are have been the very generous and social individuals, the hysterical and over-reactive ones, self-centered ones, ones who belittle and bully, the ones who lack confidence, and the ones who march to a different tune. They come in different sizes and shapes and combinations.
Are your characters fully developed before and their destiny determined before you start writing?
Heck, no. Even the major characters sometimes do things I didn’t consciously plan on them doing. And the ones that are book specific? I create them as I go. As the story progresses, the characters have to adjust and respond to new situations and each other.
Do you have a favorite movie or book or series?
That’s hard and the media doesn’t matter. There are several movies that I’ve watched multiple times – White Christmas (every year!), Grease!, Dirty Dancing, Pretty Woman, and Sound of Music. Yup, all musicals with great music and romance. Book series – I’m a proud owner of an original set of Nancy Drew and some of the Dana Girls. I also have almost a complete set of Louisa Mae Alcott. I like series and have read many by Sandra Brown, Sue Grafton, Patricia Cornwall, Lisa Gardner, Janet Evanovich… I could keep going. As I binge read through COVID-19, I am now caught up on Kathleen Brooks Bluegrass series, at least until the next ones come out.